Ireland’s Department of Agriculture fields tens of thousands of calls every year related to its various grants schemes and grants programmes. The organisation wanted a tool that could effectively communicate with farmers 24/7.
We used Microsoft’s Power Virtual Agents (PVA) and Azure Cognitive Services to build a chatbot solution configured to the department’s specific needs.
Specific technology products we used:
Ireland’s Department of Agriculture receives tens of thousands of calls every year related to its various schemes and grants programmes. Many of these phone calls come from Irish farmers looking for more information about programme eligibility and how to apply.
While the department was interested in adopting technology that could reduce its incoming call volume, the organisation also believed technology could be deployed to improve the quality of its communications with Irish farmers. By managing call volumes and improving access to information and resources, farmers could be better informed even as the department supplemented the workload placed on its call centre.
Given its on-prem, legacy infrastructure, the government organisation also needed a tailored solution that could be integrated into its existing IT environment.
“When planning our digital transformation projects in the Department of Agriculture, we need to be mindful of the population we serve. Only the highest-impact tech investments are able to deliver value to a citizen group whose level of tech competency varies widely from one person to the next.”
The value of any chatbot solution can be measured, first and foremost, by its ability to successfully resolve a wide range of queries raised by users. That’s why Codec turned to Microsoft’s Power Virtual Agents (PVA) to build a chatbot solution powered by artificial intelligence.
Microsoft PVA also offered quickstart deployment to build and launch the chatbot rapidly. Even with AI underpinning its logic, though, PVA alone wasn’t enough to deliver the degree of utility and personalisation the Department of Agriculture was seeking for its new communication tool. As a result, Codec developed and integrated a second “helper” bot to serve as a bridge between Microsoft PVA and Azure Cognitive Services, extending the chatbot’s capabilities while improving the quality of its communications and self-service functionality.
By configuring a solution that leveraged two powerful cognitive platforms, Codec delivered a one-of-a-kind chatbot designed specifically for the needs of the Department of Agriculture and its citizen users.
After the chatbot solution went live in September 2022, the Department of Agriculture reported an immediate impact on the volume of calls it was receiving, as well as the documented number of queries the chatbot successfully addressed.
In the first six months after the chatbot’s launch, the Department of Agriculture reported the following outcomes:
“The real expertise and added value we provided was the development of the ‘helper’ bot to extend the chatbot solution’s capabilities. We performed quite a bit of configuration to deliver a chatbot that could serve as a hub for efficient, personalised communications.”
Head of Public Sector, Codec